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Membranes, Volume 10, Issue 5 (May 2020) – 33 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Isoporous block copolymer membranes are so far mostly fabricated by self-assembly of block [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of FO Operating Pressure and Membrane Tensile Strength on Draw-Channel Geometry and Resulting Hydrodynamics
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050111 - 25 May 2020
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Abstract
In an effort to improve performances of forward osmosis (FO) systems, several innovative draw spacers have been proposed. However, the small pressure generally applied on the feed side of the process is expected to result in the membrane bending towards the draw side, [...] Read more.
In an effort to improve performances of forward osmosis (FO) systems, several innovative draw spacers have been proposed. However, the small pressure generally applied on the feed side of the process is expected to result in the membrane bending towards the draw side, and in the gradual occlusion of the channel. This phenomenon potentially presents detrimental effects on process performance, including pressure drop and external concentration polarization (ECP) in the draw channel. A flat sheet FO system with a dot-spacer draw channel geometry was characterized to determine the degree of draw channel occlusion resulting from feed pressurization, and the resulting implications on flow performance. First, tensile testing was performed on the FO membrane to derive a Young’s modulus, used to assess the membrane stretching, and the resulting draw channel characteristics under a range of moderate feed pressures. Membrane apex reached up to 67% of the membrane channel height when transmembrane pressure (TMP) of 1.4 bar was applied. The new FO channels considerations were then processed by computational fluid dynamics model (computational fluid dynamics (CFD) by ANSYS Fluent v19.1) and validated against previously obtained experimental data. Further simulations were conducted to better assess velocity profiles, Reynolds number and shear rate. Reynolds number on the membrane surface (draw side) increased by 20% and shear rate increased by 90% when occlusion changed from 0 to 70%, impacting concentration polarisation (CP) on the membrane surface and therefore FO performance. This paper shows that FO draw channel occlusion is expected to have a significant impact on fluid hydrodynamics when the membrane is not appropriately supported in the draw side. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the MSA ECR & IMSTEC 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Nanoporous Gl-POSS-Branched Polymeric Gas Separation Membranes
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050110 - 24 May 2020
Viewed by 501
Abstract
Novel nanoporous Gl-POSS-branched polymers based on the macroinitiator of anionic nature, 2,4-toluene diisocyanate, and octaglycidyl polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (Gl-POSS) were obtained as gas separation membranes. The synthesis of polymers was carried out using various loads of Gl-POSS. It was found that the main [...] Read more.
Novel nanoporous Gl-POSS-branched polymers based on the macroinitiator of anionic nature, 2,4-toluene diisocyanate, and octaglycidyl polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (Gl-POSS) were obtained as gas separation membranes. The synthesis of polymers was carried out using various loads of Gl-POSS. It was found that the main reaction proceeding with 2,4-toluene diisocyanate is the polyaddition, accompanied by the isocyanate groups opening of the carbonyl part. This unusual opening of isocyanate groups leads to the formation of coplanar acetal nature polyisocyanates (O-polyisocyanate). The terminal O-polyisocyanate links initiate the subsequent opening of the epoxide rings in Gl-POSS. As a result, Gl-POSS serves as a hard and bulky branching agent and creates the specific framing supramolecular structure, which leads to the formation of nanopores in the polymer, where the flexible polyether components are located inside the cavities. Thermal, mechanical, physical, and chemical properties of the obtained polymers were studied at various Gl-POSS contents in the polymer matrix. It was found that these polymers show high selectivity of gas transport properties for pure ammonia relative to nitrogen and hydrogen at ambient temperature. Measurements showed that the gas permeability coefficients and the values of ideal selectivity were in a non-additive dependence to the Gl-POSS content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Preparation and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle
Woven Stainless-Steel Mesh as a Gas Separation Membrane for Alkaline Water-Splitting Electrolysis
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050109 - 23 May 2020
Viewed by 386
Abstract
A 316-grade woven stainless-steel mesh membrane was investigated as a gas-separation membrane for alkaline water-splitting electrolysis. Its resistance was measured using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), with the conclusion that it presented approximately half the resistance of a comparable [...] Read more.
A 316-grade woven stainless-steel mesh membrane was investigated as a gas-separation membrane for alkaline water-splitting electrolysis. Its resistance was measured using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), with the conclusion that it presented approximately half the resistance of a comparable commercial alternative (ZirfonTM). Its gas-separation performance was analysed using gas chromatography (GC) at 140 mA cm−2, where it achieved 99.25% purity at the hydrogen outlet of the electrolyser. This fell to 97.5% under pumped circulation, which highlights that it is sensitive to pressure differentials. Nevertheless, this mixture is still more than a factor two inside the upper flammability limit of hydrogen in oxygen. It is hoped that such a low-cost material may bring entry-level electrolysis to many hitherto discounted applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Engineering and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Behaviour of Aquaporin Forward Osmosis Flat Sheet Membranes during the Concentration of Calcium-Containing Liquids
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050108 - 22 May 2020
Viewed by 359
Abstract
This study aims to examine the scaling and performance of flat sheet aquaporin FO membranes in the presence of calcium salts. Experiments showed that the application of calcium sulphate (CaSO4) resulted in an 8–78% decline in the water flux. An increase [...] Read more.
This study aims to examine the scaling and performance of flat sheet aquaporin FO membranes in the presence of calcium salts. Experiments showed that the application of calcium sulphate (CaSO4) resulted in an 8–78% decline in the water flux. An increase in the cross-flow velocity from 3 to 12 cm/s reduced the decline in the flux by 16%. The deposition of salt crystals on the membrane surface led to the alteration in the membrane’s intrinsic properties. Microscopy, attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, and X-Ray fluorescence (XRF) analyses confirmed measurements of the zeta potential and contact angle. The use of a three-salt mixture yielded severe scaling as compared with the application of calcium sulphate dehydrate (CaSO4 × 2H2O), i.e., a result of two different crystallisation mechanisms. We found that the amount of sodium chloride (NaCl), saturation index, cross-flow velocity, and flow regime all play an important role in the scaling of aquaporin FO flat sheet membranes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Water and Wastewater Treatment)
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Open AccessReview
Metal and Covalent Organic Frameworks for Membrane Applications
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050107 - 22 May 2020
Viewed by 490
Abstract
Better and more efficient membranes are needed to face imminent and future scientific, technological and societal challenges. New materials endowed with enhanced properties are required for the preparation of such membranes. Metal and Covalent Organic Frameworks (MOFs and COFs) are a new class [...] Read more.
Better and more efficient membranes are needed to face imminent and future scientific, technological and societal challenges. New materials endowed with enhanced properties are required for the preparation of such membranes. Metal and Covalent Organic Frameworks (MOFs and COFs) are a new class of crystalline porous materials with large surface area, tuneable pore size, structure, and functionality, making them a perfect candidate for membrane applications. In recent years an enormous number of articles have been published on the use of MOFs and COFs in preparation of membranes for various applications. This review gathers the work reported on the synthesis and preparation of membranes containing MOFs and COFs in the last 10 years. Here we give an overview on membranes and their use in separation technology, discussing the essential factors in their synthesis as well as their limitations. A full detailed summary of the preparation and characterization methods used for MOF and COF membranes is given. Finally, applications of these membranes in gas and liquid separation as well as fuel cells are discussed. This review is aimed at both experts in the field and newcomers, including students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, who would like to learn about preparation of membranes from crystalline porous materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: 10th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Surface Functional and Photocatalytic Properties of Hybrid ZnO-MoS2-Deposited Membrane for Photocatalysis-Assisted Dye Filtration
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050106 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 348
Abstract
The synergistic mechanism of photocatalytic-assisted dye degradation has been demonstrated using a hybrid ZnO-MoS2-deposited photocatalytic membrane (PCM). Few layers of MoS2 sheets were produced using the facile and efficient surfactant-assisted liquid-phase exfoliation method. In this process, hydrophilic moieties of an [...] Read more.
The synergistic mechanism of photocatalytic-assisted dye degradation has been demonstrated using a hybrid ZnO-MoS2-deposited photocatalytic membrane (PCM). Few layers of MoS2 sheets were produced using the facile and efficient surfactant-assisted liquid-phase exfoliation method. In this process, hydrophilic moieties of an anionic surfactant were adsorbed on the surface of MoS2, which aided exfoliation and promoted a stable dispersion due to the higher negative zeta potential of the exfoliated MoS2 sheets. Further, the decoration of ZnO on the exfoliated MoS2 sheets offered a bandgap energy reduction to about 2.77 eV, thus achieving an 87.12% degradation of methylene blue (MB) dye within 15 min of near UV-A irradiation (365 nm), as compared with pristine ZnO achieving only 56.89%. The photocatalysis-enhanced membrane filtration studies on the ZnO-MoS2 PCM showed a complete removal of MB dye (~99.95%). The UV-assisted dye degradation on the ZnO-MoS2 PCM offered a reduced membrane resistance, with the permeate flux gradually improving with the increase in the UV-irradiation time. The regeneration of the active ZnO-MoS2 layer also proved to be quite efficient with no compromise in the dye removal efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: 10th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle
An Experimental Study of Membrane Contactor Modules for Recovering Cyanide through a Gas Membrane Process
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050105 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 312
Abstract
Cyanide is one of the main reagents used in gold mining that can be recovered to reduce operational costs. Gas membrane technology is an attractive method for intensifying both the stripping and absorption processes of valuable compounds, such as cyanide. However, scaling-up this [...] Read more.
Cyanide is one of the main reagents used in gold mining that can be recovered to reduce operational costs. Gas membrane technology is an attractive method for intensifying both the stripping and absorption processes of valuable compounds, such as cyanide. However, scaling-up this technology from laboratory to industry is an unsolved challenge because it requires the improvement of the experimental methodologies that replicate lab-scale results at a larger scale. With this purpose in mind, this study compares the performance of three different hollow fiber membrane contactor modules (1.7 × 5.5 Mini Module, 1.7 × 10 Mini Module, and 2.5 × 8 Extra Flow). These are used for recovering cyanide from aqueous solutions at laboratory scale, using identical operational conditions. For each experimental set-up, mass-transfer correlations at the ranges of feed flows assayed were determined. The modules with the smallest and largest area of mass transfer reached similar cyanide recoveries (>95% at 60 min), which demonstrate the impact of module configuration on their operating performance. The results obtained here are limited for scaling-up the membrane module performance only because operating modules with the largest area results in a low Re number. This fact limits the extrapolation of results from the mass-transfer correlation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Gas Separation)
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Open AccessArticle
Simple Flow-Based System with an In-Line Membrane Gas–Liquid Separation Unit and a Contactless Conductivity Detector for the Direct Determination of Sulfite in Clear and Turbid Food Samples
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050104 - 18 May 2020
Viewed by 625
Abstract
This study presents a simple flow-based system for the determination of the preservative agent sulfite in food and beverages. The standard method of conversion of sulfite ions into SO2 gas by acidification is employed to separate the sulfite from sample matrices. The [...] Read more.
This study presents a simple flow-based system for the determination of the preservative agent sulfite in food and beverages. The standard method of conversion of sulfite ions into SO2 gas by acidification is employed to separate the sulfite from sample matrices. The sample is aspirated into a donor stream of sulfuric acid. A membrane gas–liquid separation unit, also called a ‘gas-diffusion (GD)’ unit, incorporating a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) hydrophobic membrane allows the generated gas to diffuse into a stream of deionized water in the acceptor line. The dissolution of the SO2 gas leads to a change in the conductivity of water which is monitored by an in-line capacitively coupled contactless conductivity detector (C4D). The conductivity change is proportional to the concentration of sulfite in the sample. In this work, both clear (wine) and turbid (fruit juice and extracts of dried fruit) were selected to demonstrate the versatility of the developed method. The method can tolerate turbidity up to 60 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTUs). The linear range is 5–25 mg L−1 SO32− with precision <2% RSD. The flow system employs a peristaltic pump for propelling all liquid lines. Quantitative results of sulfite were statistically comparable to those obtained from iodimetric titration for the wine samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Gas Separation)
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Aquaporin-Containing Proteopolymersomes in Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Membranes
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050103 - 18 May 2020
Viewed by 396
Abstract
The field of membranes saw huge developments in the last decades with the introduction of both polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM)-based membranes and biomimetic membranes. In this work, we combine these two promising systems and demonstrate that proteopolymersomes (PP+) with the incorporated aquaporin protein can [...] Read more.
The field of membranes saw huge developments in the last decades with the introduction of both polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM)-based membranes and biomimetic membranes. In this work, we combine these two promising systems and demonstrate that proteopolymersomes (PP+) with the incorporated aquaporin protein can be distributed in a controlled fashion using PEMs, even on the inner surface of a hollow fiber membrane. In this way, various proteopolymersome multilayers (PPMs) are fabricated using PP+ as the positively charged species in combination with the polyanions poly(styrene 4-sulfonate) (PSS) and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA). It is shown by reflectometry through alternately adsorbing the polyanions and PP+ that, for both PAA and PSS, a good layer growth is possible. However, when the multilayers are imaged by SEM, the PAA-based PPMs show dewetting, whereas vesicular structures can only be clearly observed in and on the PSS-based PPMs. In addition, membrane permeability decreases upon coating the PPMs to 2.6 L∙m−2∙h−1∙bar−1 for PAA/PP+ and 7.7 L∙m−2∙h−1∙bar−1 for PSS/PP+. Salt retentions show that PAA/PP+ layers are defective (salt retentions <10% and high molecular weight cut-off (MWCO)), in line with the observed dewetting behavior, while PPMs based on PSS show 80% MgSO4 retention in combination with a low MWCO. The PSS/PP+ membranes show a Donnan-exclusion behavior with moderate MgCl2 retention (50%–55%) and high Na2SO4 retention (85%–90%) indicating a high amount of negative charge present within the PPMs. The corresponding PEMs, on the other hand, are predominately positively charged with MgCl2 retention of 97%–98% and Na2SO4 retention of 57%–80%. This means that the charge inside the multilayer and, thus, its separation behavior can be changed when PP+ is used instead of a polycation. When comparing the PPM membranes to the literature, similar performances are observed with other biomimetic membranes that are not based on interfacial polymerization, but these are the only ones prepared using a desired hollow fiber geometry. Combining PEMs and biomimetic approaches can, thus, lead to relevant membranes, especially adding to the versatility of both systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: 10th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle
A 2D Convection-Diffusion Model of Anodic Oxidation of Organic Compounds Mediated by Hydroxyl Radicals Using Porous Reactive Electrochemical Membrane
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050102 - 16 May 2020
Viewed by 398
Abstract
In recent years, electrochemical methods utilizing reactive electrochemical membranes (REM) have been considered as a promising technology for efficient degradation and mineralization of organic compounds in natural, industrial and municipal wastewaters. In this paper, we propose a two-dimensional (2D) convection-diffusion-reaction model concerning the [...] Read more.
In recent years, electrochemical methods utilizing reactive electrochemical membranes (REM) have been considered as a promising technology for efficient degradation and mineralization of organic compounds in natural, industrial and municipal wastewaters. In this paper, we propose a two-dimensional (2D) convection-diffusion-reaction model concerning the transport and reaction of organic species with hydroxyl radicals generated at a TiOx REM operated in flow-through mode. It allows the determination of unknown parameters of the system by treatment of experimental data and predicts the behavior of the electrolysis setup. There is a good agreement in the calculated and experimental degradation rate of a model pollutant at different permeate fluxes and current densities. The model also provides an understanding of the current density distribution over an electrically heterogeneous surface and its effect on the distribution profile of hydroxyl radicals and diluted species. It was shown that the percentage of the removal of paracetamol increases with decreasing the pore radius and/or increasing the porosity. The effect becomes more pronounced as the current density increases. The model highlights how convection, diffusion and reaction limitations have to be taken into consideration for understanding the effectiveness of the process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fouling and Anti-Fouling of Ion-Exchange Membranes)
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Open AccessReview
The Role of New Inorganic Materials in Composite Membranes for Water Disinfection
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050101 - 14 May 2020
Viewed by 390
Abstract
Today, there is an increasing interest in improving the physicochemical properties of polymeric membranes by merging the membranes with different inorganic materials. These so-called composite membranes have been implemented in different membrane-based technologies (e.g., microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, membrane bioreactors, among others) for water [...] Read more.
Today, there is an increasing interest in improving the physicochemical properties of polymeric membranes by merging the membranes with different inorganic materials. These so-called composite membranes have been implemented in different membrane-based technologies (e.g., microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, membrane bioreactors, among others) for water treatment and disinfection. This is because such inorganic materials (such as TiO2-, ZnO-, Ag-, and Cu-based nanoparticles, carbon-based materials, to mention just a few) can improve the separation performance of membranes and also some other properties, such as antifouling, mechanical, thermal, and physical and chemical stability. Moreover, such materials display specific biological activity towards viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, showing enhanced water disinfection properties. Therefore, the aim of this review is to collect the latest advances (in the last five years) in using composite membranes and new hybrid materials for water disinfection, paying particular emphasis on relevant results and new hydride composites together with their preparation protocols. Moreover, this review addresses the main mechanism of action of different conventional and novel inorganic materials toward biologically active matter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Water Disinfection)
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Open AccessArticle
Minimum Net Driving Temperature Concept for Membrane Distillation
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050100 - 14 May 2020
Viewed by 518
Abstract
In this study, we analyzed the heat requirement of membrane distillation (MD) to investigate the trade-off between the evaporation efficiency and driving force efficiency in a single effect MD system. We found that there exists a non-zero net driving temperature difference that maximizes [...] Read more.
In this study, we analyzed the heat requirement of membrane distillation (MD) to investigate the trade-off between the evaporation efficiency and driving force efficiency in a single effect MD system. We found that there exists a non-zero net driving temperature difference that maximizes efficiency. This is the minimum net driving temperature difference necessary for a rational operational strategy because below the minimum net driving temperature, both the productivity and efficiency can be increased by increasing the temperature difference. The minimum net driving temperature has a similar magnitude to the boiling point elevation (~0.5 °C for seawater), and depends on the properties of the membrane and the heat exchanger. The minimum net driving temperature difference concept can be used to understand the occurrence of optimal values of other parameters, such as flux, membrane thickness, and membrane length, if these parameters are varied in a way that consequently varies the net driving temperature difference. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhancing the Efficiency of Membrane Processes for Water Treatment)
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Open AccessReview
New Perspectives on Fuel Cell Technology: A Brief Review
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050099 - 13 May 2020
Viewed by 452
Abstract
Energy storage and conversion is a very important link between the steps of energy production and energy consumption. Traditional fossil fuels are a natural and unsustainable energy storage medium with limited reserves and notorious pollution problems, therefore demanding a better choice to store [...] Read more.
Energy storage and conversion is a very important link between the steps of energy production and energy consumption. Traditional fossil fuels are a natural and unsustainable energy storage medium with limited reserves and notorious pollution problems, therefore demanding a better choice to store and utilize the green and renewable energies in the future. Energy and environmental problems require a clean and efficient way of using the fuels. Fuel cell functions to efficiently convert oxidant and chemical energy accumulated in the fuel directly into DC electric, with the by-products of heat and water. Fuel cells, which are known as effective electrochemical converters, and electricity generation technology has gained attention due to the need for clean energy, the limitation of fossil fuel resources and the capability of a fuel cell to generate electricity without involving any moving mechanical part. The fuel cell technologies that received high interest for commercialization are polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). The optimum efficiency for the fuel cell is not bound by the principle of Carnot cycle compared to other traditional power machines that are generally based on thermal cycles such as gas turbines, steam turbines and internal combustion engines. However, the fuel cell applications have been restrained by the high cost needed to commercialize them. Researchers currently focus on the discovery of different materials and manufacturing methods to enhance fuel cell performance and simplify components of fuel cells. Fuel cell systems’ designs are utilized to reduce the costs of the membrane and improve cell efficiency, durability and reliability, allowing them to compete with the traditional combustion engine. In this review, we primarily analyze recent developments in fuel cells technologies and up-to-date modeling for PEMFCs, SOFCs and DMFCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ionic Conductive Membranes for Fuel Cells)
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A Novel Laser 3D Printing Method for the Advanced Manufacturing of Protonic Ceramics
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050098 - 12 May 2020
Viewed by 467
Abstract
Protonic ceramics (PCs) with high proton conductivity at intermediate temperatures (300–600 °C) have attracted many applications in energy conversion and storage devices such as PC fuel/electrolysis cells, PC membrane reactors, hydrogen pump, hydrogen or water-permeable membranes, and gas sensors. One of the essential [...] Read more.
Protonic ceramics (PCs) with high proton conductivity at intermediate temperatures (300–600 °C) have attracted many applications in energy conversion and storage devices such as PC fuel/electrolysis cells, PC membrane reactors, hydrogen pump, hydrogen or water-permeable membranes, and gas sensors. One of the essential steps for fulfilling the practical utilization of these intermediate-temperature PC energy devices is the successful development of advanced manufacturing methods for cost-effectively and rapidly fabricating them with high energy density and efficiency in a customized demand. In this work, we developed a new laser 3D printing (L3DP) technique by integrating digital microextrusion-based 3D printing and precise and rapid laser processing (sintering, drying, cutting, and polishing), which showed the capability of manufacturing PCs with desired complex geometries, crystal structures, and microstructures. The L3DP method allowed the fabrication of PC parts such as pellets, cylinders, cones, films, straight/lobed tubes with sealed endings, microchannel membranes, and half cells for assembling PC energy devices. The preliminary measurement of the L3DP electrolyte film showed a high proton conductivity of ≈7 × 10−3 S/cm. This L3DP technique not only demonstrated the potential to bring the PCs into practical use but also made it possible for the rapid direct digital manufacturing of ceramic-based devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ceramic Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications and Hydrogen Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Tailored CNTs Buckypaper Membranes for the Removal of Humic Acid and Separation of Oil-In-Water Emulsions
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050097 - 12 May 2020
Viewed by 728
Abstract
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are a robust material and proven as a promising candidate for a wide range of electronic, optoelectronic and environmental applications. In this work, two different methods were utilized for the preparation of CNTs exhibiting different aspect ratios via chemical vapor [...] Read more.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are a robust material and proven as a promising candidate for a wide range of electronic, optoelectronic and environmental applications. In this work, two different methods were utilized for the preparation of CNTs exhibiting different aspect ratios via chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The as-prepared CNTs were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), N2adsorption isotherms, thermogravimetric analysis and Raman spectroscopy in order to investigate their morphological and structural properties. Free-standing CNTs “buckypaper” membranes were fabricated, characterized and tailored to meet the requirements of two applications, i.e., (1) the removal of humic acid (HA) from water and (2) separation of oil-in-water emulsions. It was revealed that the hydrophobic buckypapers showed high separation performance for Shell oil-in-water emulsions filtration, with up to 98% through the accumulation of oil droplets onto the membrane surface. The absorption capacity of buckypaper membranes for various organic liquids (oil, chloroform and toluene) was evaluated over 10 absorption cycles to investigate their recyclability and robustness. Moreover, surface modification was introduced to the pristine CNTs to increase their surface hydrophilicity and improve the pure water permeability of buckypapers. These modified buckypapers showed high flux for HA solutions and excellent HA rejection efficiency up to 95%via size exclusion and electrostatic repulsion mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: 10th Anniversary)
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Open AccessReview
Towards Electrochemical Water Desalination Techniques: A Review on Capacitive Deionization, Membrane Capacitive Deionization and Flow Capacitive Deionization
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050096 - 12 May 2020
Viewed by 414
Abstract
Electrochemical water desalination has been a major research area since the 1960s with the development of capacitive deionization technique. For the latter, its modus operandi lies in temporary salt ion adsorption when a simple potential difference (1.0–1.4 V) of about 1.2 V is [...] Read more.
Electrochemical water desalination has been a major research area since the 1960s with the development of capacitive deionization technique. For the latter, its modus operandi lies in temporary salt ion adsorption when a simple potential difference (1.0–1.4 V) of about 1.2 V is supplied to the system to temporarily create an electric field that drives the ions to their different polarized poles and subsequently desorb these solvated ions when potential is switched off. Capacitive deionization targets/extracts the solutes instead of the solvent and thus consumes less energy and is highly effective for brackish water. This paper reviews Capacitive Deionization (mechanism of operation, sustainability, optimization processes, and shortcomings) with extension to its counterparts (Membrane Capacitive Deionization and Flow Capacitive Deionization). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Engineering and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Purification of Arabinoxylans from Corn Fiber and Preparation of Bioactive Films for Food Packaging
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050095 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 401
Abstract
Corn fiber, a by-product of the starch industry, is presently incorporated in animal feed. However, it has arabinoxylans as added-value components (besides ferulic acid) that should be valorized. In this work, the raw material, a fraction enriched in arabinoxylans from corn fiber, previously [...] Read more.
Corn fiber, a by-product of the starch industry, is presently incorporated in animal feed. However, it has arabinoxylans as added-value components (besides ferulic acid) that should be valorized. In this work, the raw material, a fraction enriched in arabinoxylans from corn fiber, previously produced by alkaline extraction from corn fiber and pre-concentrated by ultrafiltration, was further purified. The use of ultrafiltration operated in diafiltration mode (dia-ultrafiltration) was evaluated for the purification of the arabinoxylans fraction. The objective was to maximize the removal of the small contaminants from the fraction and to maximize the permeability and/or the permeate flux, by selecting the relevant operating conditions involved in this process. The removal of contaminants (%) was estimated when their apparent rejection stabilized. Edible films were produced, from the resultant purified arabinoxylans fraction, using glycerol as plasticizer (30% dry basis). Additionally, films with the incorporation of ferulic acid were developed, in order to obtain barriers with antioxidant activity. The films were characterized in terms of mechanical properties, antioxidant activity and permeability to water vapor. The films prepared presented a good potential to be used as packaging for food products with low water content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Processes and Materials for a Sustainable Bioeconomy)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Polydopamine Forward Osmosis Membranes with Low Reverse Salt Flux
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050094 - 10 May 2020
Viewed by 527
Abstract
Application of forward osmosis (FO) is limited due to membrane fouling and, most importantly, high reverse salt fluxes that deteriorate the concentrated product. Polydopamine (PDA) is a widely used, easily applicable, hydrophilic, adhesive antifouling coating. Among the coating parameters, surprisingly, the effect of [...] Read more.
Application of forward osmosis (FO) is limited due to membrane fouling and, most importantly, high reverse salt fluxes that deteriorate the concentrated product. Polydopamine (PDA) is a widely used, easily applicable, hydrophilic, adhesive antifouling coating. Among the coating parameters, surprisingly, the effect of PDA coating temperature on the membrane properties has not been well studied. Polyethersulfone (PES) 30 kDa ultrafiltration membranes were PDA-coated with varying dopamine concentrations (0.5–3 g/L) and coating temperatures (4–55 °C). The quality of the applied coating has been determined by surface properties, water permeability and reverse salt flux using a 1.2 M MgSO4 draw solution. The coating thickness increased both with the dopamine concentration and coating temperature, the latter having a remarkably stronger effect resulting in a higher PDA deposition speed and smaller PDA aggregates. In dead-end stirred cell, the membranes coated at 55 °C with 2.0 g/L dopamine showed NaCl and MgSO4 retentions of 41% and 93%, respectively. In crossflow FO, a low reverse MgSO4 flux (0.34 g/m2·h) was found making a very low specific reverse salt flux (Js/Jw) of 0.08 g/L, which outperformed the commercial CTA FO membranes, showing the strong benefit of high temperature PDA-coated PES membranes to assure high quality products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fabrication and Characterization of Ice Templated Membrane Supports from Portland Cement
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050093 - 09 May 2020
Viewed by 413
Abstract
Porous ceramic membranes for aqueous microfiltration and ultrafiltration processes suffer from the high-costs of material and processing. The latter is mainly due to the high-temperature sintering step. In this work, cement-based membrane supports from ultrafine Portland cement are studied as a low-cost alternative [...] Read more.
Porous ceramic membranes for aqueous microfiltration and ultrafiltration processes suffer from the high-costs of material and processing. The latter is mainly due to the high-temperature sintering step. In this work, cement-based membrane supports from ultrafine Portland cement are studied as a low-cost alternative to traditional oxidic ceramic supports. An environmentally friendly freeze-casting fabrication route is applied for the fabrication of porous membrane supports. Cement membrane supports are becoming mechanically stabile after hydration reaction of cement with water, which does not require any high-temperature sintering step as in a conventional ceramic membrane fabrication process. This fabrication route, which is sintering-free, decreases the cost and environmental impact of the membrane fabrication process by eliminating extra energy consumption step during sintering. The Archimedes method, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), micro-computed tomographic (µCT), and mercury porosimetry characterize the membrane supports in respect to open porosity, pore size distribution, morphology, and connectivity. The flexural strength of the 3 mm thick membranes is in the range from 1 to 6 MPa, as obtained by the ring-on-ring tests. The obtained membrane supports possess porosity in the range between 48 and 73% depending on fabrication conditions (cooling rate and the solid content, as determined by Archimedes method enabling water flux in the range between 79 and 180 L/(h·m2) at 0.5 bar transmembrane pressure difference and 3 mm membrane thickness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: 10th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle
Recovery of Aromatics from Orange Juice Evaporator Condensate Streams by Reverse Osmosis
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050092 - 08 May 2020
Viewed by 418
Abstract
The aim of this work was to analyze the potential of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes in the recovery and concentration of aroma compounds from orange juice evaporator condensate (EC) streams. Concentration experiments were performed by using three RO spiral-wound aromatic polyamide membranes (SG1812C-34D, [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to analyze the potential of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes in the recovery and concentration of aroma compounds from orange juice evaporator condensate (EC) streams. Concentration experiments were performed by using three RO spiral-wound aromatic polyamide membranes (SG1812C-34D, SC1812C-34D and SE1812) with different NaCl rejections. The effect of transmembrane pressure, axial feed flowrate and volume concentration ratio (VCR) on permeate flux was studied. Rejections of the investigated membranes towards specific aroma compounds (octanol, α-terpineol, terpinen-4-ol, cis-carveol, karvon, linalool) in selected operating conditions were also evaluated. The concentrations of the aroma compounds were determined by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) using headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) as a sample preparation approach. For all selected membranes, the permeate flux increased linearly by increasing the operating pressure from 5 to 25 bar; on the other hand, the feed flowrate did not have any significant effect on the permeate flux. High retention values towards aroma compounds (>80%) were measured for all selected membranes. However, the SC membrane showed the highest rejection values (>96%) and the best correlation between concentration factor of aroma compounds and VCR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Reverse Osmosis Membranes and Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Liposomes Loaded with the Proteasome Inhibitor Z-Leucinyl-Leucinyl-Norleucinal Are Effective in Inducing Apoptosis in Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050091 - 03 May 2020
Viewed by 478
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the main causes of cancer-related death in developed countries. Targeted therapies and conventional chemotherapeutics have been developed to help treat this type of aggressive cancer. Among these, the monoclonal antibodies cetuximab (Cxm) and panitumumab specifically target and [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the main causes of cancer-related death in developed countries. Targeted therapies and conventional chemotherapeutics have been developed to help treat this type of aggressive cancer. Among these, the monoclonal antibodies cetuximab (Cxm) and panitumumab specifically target and inactivate the signaling of ERBB1 (EGF receptor), a key player in the development and progression of this cancer. Unfortunately, these antibodies are effective only on a small fraction of patients due to primary or secondary/acquired resistance. However, as ERBB1 cell surface expression is often maintained in resistant tumors, ERBB1 can be exploited as a target to deliver other drugs. Liposomes and immunoliposomes are under intensive investigation as pharmaceutical nanocarriers and can be functionalized with specific antibodies. In this study, we first investigated the anti-cancer activity of a cell permeable tripeptide, leucine-leucin-norleucinal (LLNle), an inhibitor of gamma-secretase and proteasome, in three different CRC cell lines that express ERBB1. We formulated LLNle-liposomes and Cxm-conjugated LLNle-loaded liposomes (LLNle-immunoliposomes) and evaluated their efficacy in inhibiting cell survival. Despite similar pro-apoptotic effects of free LLNle and LLNle-liposomes, immunoliposomes-LLNle were significantly less effective than their unconjugated counterparts. Indeed, immunoliposomes-LLNle were readily internalized and trafficked to lysosomes, where LLNle was likely trapped and/or inactivated. In conclusion, we demonstrated that LLNle was readily delivered to CRC cell lines by liposomes, but immunoliposomes-LLNle failed to show significant anti-cancer activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: 10th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle
Electroseparation of Slaughterhouse By-Product: Antimicrobial Peptide Enrichment by pH Modification
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050090 - 03 May 2020
Viewed by 429
Abstract
The fractionation of bioactive peptides from hydrolysate is a main challenge to produce efficient alternative for synthetic additives. In this work, electrodialysis with ultrafiltration membrane (EDUF) was proposed to increase the purity of one antimicrobial peptide from slaughterhouse by-product hydrolysate. This targeted-peptide, α137–141 [...] Read more.
The fractionation of bioactive peptides from hydrolysate is a main challenge to produce efficient alternative for synthetic additives. In this work, electrodialysis with ultrafiltration membrane (EDUF) was proposed to increase the purity of one antimicrobial peptide from slaughterhouse by-product hydrolysate. This targeted-peptide, α137–141 (653 Da, TSKYR), inhibits a large spectrum of microbial growths and delays meat rancidity; therefore, if concentrated, it could be used as food antimicrobial. In this context, three pH values were investigated during EDUF treatment to increase the α137–141 purity: 4.7, 6.5, and 9. pH 9 showed the highest purity increase—75-fold compared to the initial hydrolysate. Although the whole hydrolysate contains more than 100 peptides, only six peptides were recovered at a significant concentration. In this fraction, the α137–141 peptide represented more than 50% of the recovered total peptide concentration. The EDUF α137–141-enriched fraction obtained in this optimized condition would be a promising natural preservative to substitute synthetic additives used to protect food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Technologies for Resource Recovery)
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Open AccessReview
Membrane Technologies in Wastewater Treatment: A Review
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050089 - 30 Apr 2020
Viewed by 570
Abstract
In the face of water shortages, the world seeks to explore all available options in reducing the over exploitation of limited freshwater resources. One of the surest available water resources is wastewater. As the population grows, industrial, agricultural, and domestic activities increase accordingly [...] Read more.
In the face of water shortages, the world seeks to explore all available options in reducing the over exploitation of limited freshwater resources. One of the surest available water resources is wastewater. As the population grows, industrial, agricultural, and domestic activities increase accordingly in order to cater for the voluminous needs of man. These activities produce large volumes of wastewater from which water can be reclaimed to serve many purposes. Over the years, conventional wastewater treatment processes have succeeded to some extent in treating effluents for discharge purposes. However, improvements in wastewater treatment processes are necessary in order to make treated wastewater re-usable for industrial, agricultural, and domestic purposes. Membrane technology has emerged as a favorite choice for reclaiming water from different wastewater streams for re-use. This review looks at the trending membrane technologies in wastewater treatment, their advantages and disadvantages. It also discusses membrane fouling, membrane cleaning, and membrane modules. Finally, recommendations for future research pertaining to the application of membrane technology in wastewater treatment are made. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Separation of Zn(II), Cr(III), and Ni(II) Ions Using the Polymer Inclusion Membranes Containing Acetylacetone Derivative as the Carrier
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050088 - 30 Apr 2020
Viewed by 351
Abstract
Polymer inclusion membranes (PIMs) doped with ethylenodiamino-bis-acetylacetone as fixed carrier was applied for the investigation of the facilitated transport of Zn(II), Cr(III), and Ni(II) ions from an aqueous nitrate feed phase (cM = 0.001 mol/dm3). The optimal membrane composition (amount [...] Read more.
Polymer inclusion membranes (PIMs) doped with ethylenodiamino-bis-acetylacetone as fixed carrier was applied for the investigation of the facilitated transport of Zn(II), Cr(III), and Ni(II) ions from an aqueous nitrate feed phase (cM = 0.001 mol/dm3). The optimal membrane composition (amount of carrier and o-NPPE-plasticizer) was determined. For the optimal polymer inclusion membranes doped with ethylenodiamino-bis-acetylacetone, the following patterns of transport selectivity were found: Zn(II) > Cr(III) > Ni(II). The initial flux of Zn(II), Cr(III), and Ni(II) ions was 6.37 µmol/m2∙s, 5.53 µmol/m2∙s, and 0.40 µmol/m2∙s, respectively. The selectivity coefficients equal to 1.2 and 15.9 were found for Zn(II)/Cr(III) and Zn(II)/Ni(II), respectively. After 24-h transport, the recovery factor of Zn(II), Cr(III), and Ni(II) were 90%, 65%, and 6%, respectively. The polymer inclusion membranes doped with ethylenodiamino-bis-acetylacetone were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and non-contact atomic force microscopy. The influence of membrane morphology on transport process was discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Membranes in Separation Process)
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Open AccessArticle
Transport Properties and Mechanical Features of Sulfonated Polyether Ether Ketone/Organosilica Layered Materials Nanocomposite Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050087 - 29 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 431
Abstract
In this work, we study the preparation of new sulfonated polyether ether ketone (sPEEK) nanocomposite membranes, containing highly ionic silica layered nanoadditives, as a low cost and efficient proton exchange membranes for fuel cell applications. To achieve the best compromise among mechanical strength, [...] Read more.
In this work, we study the preparation of new sulfonated polyether ether ketone (sPEEK) nanocomposite membranes, containing highly ionic silica layered nanoadditives, as a low cost and efficient proton exchange membranes for fuel cell applications. To achieve the best compromise among mechanical strength, dimensional stability and proton conductivity, sPEEK polymers with different sulfonation degree (DS) were examined. Silica nanoplatelets, decorated with a plethora of sulfonic acid groups, were synthesized through the one-step process, and composite membranes at 1, 3 and 5 wt% of filler loadings were prepared by a simple casting procedure. The presence of ionic layered additives improves the mechanical strength, the water retention capacity and the transport properties remarkably. The nanocomposite membrane with 5% wt of nanoadditive exhibited an improvement of tensile strength almost 160% (68.32 MPa,) with respect to pristine sPEEK and a ten-times higher rate of proton conductivity (12.8 mS cm−1) under very harsh operative conditions (i.e., 90 °C and 30% RH), compared to a filler-free membrane. These findings represent a significant advance as a polymer electrolyte or a fuel cell application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: 10th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle
Strongly Selective Polymer Membranes Modified with Heteroarm Stars for the Ethylene Glycol Dehydration by Pervaporation
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050086 - 29 Apr 2020
Viewed by 375
Abstract
Hybrid membranes based on poly (2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide) modified with heteroarm stars (HAS) were developed to separate ethylene glycol/water mixtures by pervaporation. The HAS consist of a small branching center fullerene C 60 and twelve arms of different nature, six arms of nonpolar polystyrene [...] Read more.
Hybrid membranes based on poly (2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide) modified with heteroarm stars (HAS) were developed to separate ethylene glycol/water mixtures by pervaporation. The HAS consist of a small branching center fullerene C 60 and twelve arms of different nature, six arms of nonpolar polystyrene and six arms of polar poly-tert-butyl methacrylate. The changes of structure and physical properties with HAS inclusion were systematically studied using SEM, X-ray diffraction analysis, TGA, and contact angle measurements. Mass transfer of ethylene glycol and water through membranes was studied by sorption and pervaporation tests. It was found that the growth of HAS content up to 5 wt% in the membrane leads to an increase in the total flux and a strong increase in the separation factor. To evaluate intrinsic properties of the penetrant–membrane system, permeability and selectivity were calculated. Overall, utilizing star-shaped macromolecules as a filler can be a promising way to improve the separation performance of diffusion membranes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: 10th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle
Industrial Wastewater Treatment by Nanofiltration—A Case Study on the Anodizing Industry
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050085 - 29 Apr 2020
Viewed by 452
Abstract
The anodizing industry generates several alkaline and acidic wastewater streams often with high concentrations of heavy metals. In this study, nanofiltration (NF) was used to treat wastewater from individual baths, i.e., wastewater from color rinse, alkaline pickling rinse, acidic pickling rinse and anodizing [...] Read more.
The anodizing industry generates several alkaline and acidic wastewater streams often with high concentrations of heavy metals. In this study, nanofiltration (NF) was used to treat wastewater from individual baths, i.e., wastewater from color rinse, alkaline pickling rinse, acidic pickling rinse and anodizing rinse, as well as a mixture of all the wastewater streams. The experiments were carried out by using a commercial membrane (NF99HF) exhibiting pure water permeability of 10 L/(m2·h·bar). For all wastewater streams except one, pH was adjusted to bring it within the recommended pH limits of the membrane, whereby part of the heavy metals precipitated and was removed. The NF of the color rinse offered high-quality permeate (heavy metals below detection limit) and high permeability (9 L/(m2·h·bar)), whereas the nanofiltration of the alkaline pickling rinse exhibited no permeability. The NF of the acidic pickling rinse showed a permeability of 3.1–4.1 L/(m2·h·bar), but low ion rejection (7–13%). NF of the neutralized mixed wastewater, after the removal of precipitate, produced high-quality permeate with a stable permeability of 1 L/(m2·h·bar). Treatment of the mixed wastewater is therefore the best option if the water has to be discharged. If the water has to be reused, the permeate conductivity in the color rinse and anodizing rinse baths have been reduced significantly, so the treatment of these streams may then be a better option. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: 10th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle
Oily Wastewater Treatment Using Polyamide Thin Film Composite Membrane Technology
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050084 - 28 Apr 2020
Viewed by 807
Abstract
In this study, polyamide (PA) thin film composite (TFC) reverse osmosis (RO) membrane filtration was used in edible oil wastewater emulsion treatment. The PA-TFC membrane was characterized using mechanical, thermal, chemical, and physical tests. Surface morphology and cross-sections of TFCs were characterized using [...] Read more.
In this study, polyamide (PA) thin film composite (TFC) reverse osmosis (RO) membrane filtration was used in edible oil wastewater emulsion treatment. The PA-TFC membrane was characterized using mechanical, thermal, chemical, and physical tests. Surface morphology and cross-sections of TFCs were characterized using SEM. The effects of edible oil concentrations, average droplets size, and contact angle on separation efficiency and flux were studied in detail. Purification performance was enhanced using activated carbon as a pre-treatment unit. The performance of the RO unit was assessed by chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal and permeate flux. Oil concentration in wastewater varied between 3000 mg/L and 6000 mg/L. Oily wastewater showed a higher contact angle (62.9°) than de-ionized water (33°). Experimental results showed that the presence of activated carbon increases the permeation COD removal from 94% to 99%. The RO membrane filtration coupled with an activated carbon unit of oily wastewater is a convenient hybrid technique for removal of high-concentration edible oil wastewater emulsion up to 99%. Using activated carbon as an adsorption pre-treatment unit improved the permeate flux from 34 L/m2hr to 75 L/m2hr. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: 10th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle
Facilitated Structure Formation in Isoporous Block Copolymer Membranes upon Controlled Evaporation by Gas Flow
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050083 - 28 Apr 2020
Viewed by 429
Abstract
The conventional fabrication of isoporous membranes via the evaporation-induced self-assembly of block copolymers in combination with non-solvent induced phase separation (SNIPS) is achieved under certain environmental conditions. In this study, we report a modification in the conventional fabrication process of (isoporous) flat sheet [...] Read more.
The conventional fabrication of isoporous membranes via the evaporation-induced self-assembly of block copolymers in combination with non-solvent induced phase separation (SNIPS) is achieved under certain environmental conditions. In this study, we report a modification in the conventional fabrication process of (isoporous) flat sheet membranes in which the self-assembly of block copolymers is achieved by providing controlled evaporation conditions using gas flow and the process is introduced as gSNIPS. This fabrication approach can not only trigger and control the microphase separation but also provides isoporous structure formation in a much broader range of solution concentrations and casting parameters, as compared to fabrication under ambient, uncontrolled conditions. We systematically investigated the structure formation of the fabrication of integral asymmetric isoporous membranes by gSNIPS. A quantitative correlation between the evaporation conditions (causing solvent evaporation and temperature drop) and the self-assembly of block copolymers beginning from the top layer up to a certain depth, orientation of pores in the top layer and the substructure morphology has been discussed empirically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Block Copolymer Membranes – Progress and Challenges)
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Open AccessArticle
Polyimide/Ionic Liquid Composite Membranes for Middle and High Temperature Fuel Cell Application: Water Sorption Behavior and Proton Conductivity
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050082 - 28 Apr 2020
Viewed by 409
Abstract
Four water insoluble room-temperature protic ionic liquids (PILs) based on the N-alkylimidazolium cation with the alkyl chain length from 1 to 4 and bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide anion were synthesized and their chemical structure was confirmed by the 1H NMR and 19F NMR [...] Read more.
Four water insoluble room-temperature protic ionic liquids (PILs) based on the N-alkylimidazolium cation with the alkyl chain length from 1 to 4 and bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide anion were synthesized and their chemical structure was confirmed by the 1H NMR and 19F NMR analysis. PILs were revealed to be thermally stable up to 360 and 400 °C. At the same time, the proton conductivity of PILs was found to be dependent mostly on the temperature and, to a less extent, on the type of the cation, i.e., the increase of the conductivity from ~3 × 10−4 S/cm at 25 °C to 2 × 10−2 S/cm at 150 °C was observed. The water vapour sorption capacity of PILs was evaluated as a function of relative humidity and the influence of the alkyl chain length on the phase behaviour in the PIL-water system was discussed. The composite polyimide/PILs membranes were prepared by the PIL immobilization in the porous polymer (Matrimid® 5218) film. The composite membranes showed a high level of proton conductivity (~10−3 S/cm) at elevated temperatures (up to 160 °C). The obtained results reveal that the elaborated composite polyimide/PIL membranes are promising candidates for the application as proton exchange membrane at middle and high temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: 10th Anniversary)
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